(Re)Imagining Citizenship: Second-Generation Youths' Practices of Resistance

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Valerie STAM, Carleton University, Canada
Drawing on semi-structured interviews and a participatory theatre project in the Netherlands, I explore how Black and Muslim youth are (re)imagining and enacting citizenship in a context of increasing xenophobia and nationalism. With growing scrutiny around migration in Europe, second-generation racialized and Muslim youth navigate varying barriers to belonging and citizenship: while they hold de facto (legal) citizenship, their de jure citizenship (social membership) is questioned (Arendt, 1951; Somers, 2008). My research investigates how Black and Muslim second-generation youth navigate, claim, and explore identity politics in a setting where they are made to feel “less than”.

Using a critical citizenship lens, youths' practices and strategies of resistance will be highlighted. Engaging with theories of reactive transnationalism (Itzigsohn & Giorguli-Saucedo, 2002), flexible citizenship (Ong, 1999), cosmopolitanism (Appiah, 2010), and nomadic subjects (Braidotti, 1994) (among others), I will demonstrate how second-generation Black and Muslim youth respond to this “precarious” or “contested” citizenship with creative and conforming approaches. These youths’ practices of resistance may serve to expand notions and definitions of citizenship in complex and innovative ways. I will share findings from my participatory theatre project and interviews.

Appiah, K. A. (2010). Cosmopolitanism: Ethics In A World of Strangers. WW Norton & Company.
Arendt, H. (1951). The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich.
Braidotti, R. (1994). Nomadic subjects: Embodiment and sexual difference in contemporary feminist theory. New York: Columbia University Press.
Itzigsohn, J., & Saucedo, S. G. (2002). Immigrant Incorporation and Sociocultural Transnationalism. The International Migration Review, 36(3), 766–798.
Ong, A. (1999). Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Somers, M. R. (2008). Genealogies of Citizenship: Markets, Statelessness, and the Right to Have Rights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.